Stance Pluralism, Scientology and the Problem of Relativism

Foundations of Science: DOI: 10.1007/s10699-022-09882-w (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Inspired by Bas van Fraassen’s Stance Empiricism, Anjan Chakravartty has developed a pluralistic account of what he calls epistemic stances towards scientific ontology. In this paper, I examine whether Chakravartty’s stance pluralism can exclude epistemic stances that licence pseudo-scientific practices like those found in Scientology. I argue that it cannot. Chakravartty’s stance pluralism is therefore prone to a form of debilitating relativism. I consequently argue that we need (1) some ground or constraint in relation to which epistemic stances can be ranked by degrees, and (2) some way to demarcate science from pseudo-science so that we know what epistemic stances are about. Regarding (1), I argue that empirical detectability can serve as the ground in relation to which epistemic stances are ranked by degrees. Regarding (2), I argue for ranking sciences on a continuum according to established institutional criteria, rather than attempting to draw a strict demarcation.

Similar books and articles

Stance relativism: empiricism versus metaphysics. [REVIEW]Anjan Chakravartty - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 35 (1):173-184.
I—The Virtues of Relativism.Maria Baghramian - 2019 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 93 (1):247-269.
Scientology vs. the Media.James R. Lewis - 2015 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 6 (1):61-78.
Stance, feeling and phenomenology.Matthew Ratcliffe - 2011 - Synthese 178 (1):121-130.
Moral and Metaethical Pluralism: Unity in Variation.Ragnar Francén Olinder - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):583-601.
God, Commitment, and Other Faiths.Joseph Runzo - 1988 - Faith and Philosophy 5 (4):343-364.
On Relativism and Pluralism: Response to Steven Bland.Howard Sankey - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 47:98-103.
On What Empiricism Cannot Be.Alexander Paul Bozzo - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (2):181-198.
The Empirical Stance.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 2002 - Yale University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP
2022-10-20

Downloads
383 (#49,594)

6 months
204 (#11,961)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ragnar Van Der Merwe
University of Johannesburg

References found in this work

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - In James Ladyman, Don Ross, David Spurrett & John Collier (eds.), Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.
Representing and Intervening.Ian Hacking - 1983 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 35 (4):381-390.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. V. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20-43.
Representing and Intervening.Ian Hacking - 1987 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 92 (2):279-279.

View all 43 references / Add more references